Has anyone heard of Shadow Man?

This weekend, the Times "Knowledge" section (the weekly arts events and TV listings) carried a full-page ad inside the front cover for "Shadow Man" by Cody McFadyen. "Some thrillers care you witless. Very few make you cry. Only this one will do both".  The book is "crime booksellers’ choice at Waterstone’s" and priced at £3.99 (RRP £6.99).  "Coldly, stunningly brilliant. Move over Thomas Harris", writes Lisa Gardner on the cover. (Neither name a hugely enticing recommendation as far as I am concerned.)

Has anyone heard of this book or the author? Any views? New one on me on both counts, I think. I wonder why this particular book is getting this particular treatment — you don’t very often get a book featured in this prime slot that isn’t in the "mega seller Stephen King" category.

Here’s the link to the UK Amazon entry (sorry Waterstone’s), where the book is also priced at £3.99.

5 thoughts on “Has anyone heard of Shadow Man?

  1. “combines many conventions of the genre ”
    That from the Publishers Weekly blurb on Amazon is inclined to put me off a little bit.

  2. I have looked up Mr Mcfadyen’s web site and there are rave reviews about the book.
    …”For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder”
    Well I did not feel an empathy with Cody Mcfadyean from the information on his website. But as I thought “Hidden” the TV film choice of the week in the Telegraph was complete tosh, my judgement may be faulty, or just very old fashioned.

  3. I read it a while ago.
    It’s an American thriller, with an FBI team and a serial killer, and it’s a fast paced novel. But for me, the bit that stood out was characterisation for members of the FBI team. And ok, they have a leader and it gets personal, but we get to meet more of the team.
    McFadyen is also coming with a second novel soon:
    If you like an American serial killer novel, it’s pretty good.
    Hope this helps.

  4. I’m back to ponder on the marketing element.
    I think the publisher believes this a young author for the future, taking up the future potential market gap in serial killer and/or page turning thrillers; hence the marketing budget in up front outlay and investment.
    Thomas Harris must surely be on his last now, with the cynically received (in many circles) Hannibal early years? Cornwell continues to struggle, not finding the respect & admiration she recieved in her early years for her first novels – her book sales will diminish, I’m sure. And a pretender is always allowed… This is quite a bit different from anything the Patterson factory puts out…
    Shadow Man is bloody good for it’s sub-genre. The author is young and continues to write, with vigour. What more could a publisher ask for? They want another “name” to make it, so they invest in the marketing of the novels.
    It’s nice to see a newbie on the block. And certainly, where the all-selling Patterson has become an endless breakfast of now tasteless chewy cereal, it’s good to have a bacon and two eggs option instead.

  5. Thanks for the link to the review, the brief summary and your comments, crimeficreader. Very interesting what you say about Patterson and Cornwell. I really liked both of these authors’ earlier books (Scarpetta and Alex Cross), but as their sales have skyrocketed, the quality has plummeted (if that isn’t a metaphor too far). Now I don’t bother to read either of them. I also feel the same way about Thomas Harris — although his output is nowhere near that of Cornwell or the hyperactive Patterson (who is now a franchise of course), “Red Dragon” is by far his best book. Silence of the Lambs was “ok” but Hannibal dreadful. I won’t bother to read the latest outing (heavily advertised in the tube at the moment). I might give C McF a try based on what you say. I wonder if he is any relation to Matthew McF: Prince Hal aka Mr [remake] Darcy?

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